The delivery of Kenya Airways 36th bird is now imminent as the aircraft was over the past two days put through a vigorous inflight testing regime, ahead of the formal handover later this week at the Embraer assembly plant in San Jose Dos Campos.
The aircraft, once it joins the fleet at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, will be deployed on regional and medium distance routes across the African continent and is, as all other Kenya Airways aircraft, configured in a Premium and Economy class section, offering 12 business class seats in a 2 x 1 layout and 84 economy class seats in a 2 x 2 layout. The Embraers are playing a crucial role towards achieving Kenya Airways target of connecting every political and commercial capital on the continent with Nairobi by the end of 2013, using this type of medium distance jet alongside the proven B737NGs and, in particular on select Southern and Western African routes, the B767 and B777. It was confirmed from a regular source at Kenya Airways that the airline will take delivery of at least one such aircraft every month until April next year, when according to Plan Mawingo deliveries of additional B737NGs will commence. The attached slide from one of the airlines public presentations on their fleet development shows the progressive build up from 40 aircraft by the end of 2012 to 50 aircraft the following year and 60 the year after.
Watch this space and more important, watch The Pride of Africa where things are underway to turn Kenya Airways into the continents preferred carrier.